VGCC honors faculty and staff members of the year
At Vance-Granville Community College’s recent fall convocation, college President Dr. Rachel Desmarais announced awards to a pair of outstanding employees for the 2019-20 year. Tammy Ball, an instructor for Office Administration and Medical Office Administration and Online Retention Specialist, was named Faculty Member of the Year, while Jennifer “Jenny” Luffman, Accounts Receivable and Third Party Billing Coordinator for the VGCC Business Office, was selected as the Staff Member of the Year.
The honors are two of VGCC’s three Glen Raven Excellence in Teaching and Leadership Awards. Glen Raven, Inc., the custom fabrics manufacturer with a facility in Warren County, is a longtime partner and supporter of the college. In addition to sponsoring the annual stipends to recognize excellence among VGCC instructors and staff members, Glen Raven has endowed several scholarships for students.
Ball and Luffman are now eligible to be considered for the N.C. Community College System’s statewide R.J. Reynolds Excellence in Teaching and BB&T Staff Person of the Year awards, respectively.
“This year, Vance-Granville Community College celebrates 50 years of excellence, which would not have been possible without outstanding faculty and staff members like Jenny and Tammy,” said Dr. Desmarais. “The fact that both are not only dedicated members of our team but also VGCC alumni is a testament to the quality education they received here, as well as the community atmosphere that this institution has maintained.”
A Youngsville resident, Ball has been teaching at VGCC for the past six-and-a-half years but first developed a great passion for the college over 20 years ago, when she was a student. “I came to VGCC to study in the college transfer program,” Ball recalled. “After graduation, I looked to the college for classes to support my career in healthcare, and when I finally did decide to transfer, returned to VGCC once again to take business and accounting classes to take with me to the university.”
After working as a medical records manager and clinical secretary at a retirement community, Ball completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration at N.C. State University. She then worked full-time at the university for several years, primarily in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Since joining VGCC, Ball has taught not only curriculum but continuing education courses, many of which she also developed, and has advised many on-campus and online students. She was lead advisor for the Office Administration Club for three years and has served on a variety of college committees.
“I’ve seen first-hand how the college can help our community through workforce training and transferable courses,” Ball said. “I love each day at VGCC where I can give back and help my own community learn and grow!”
Luffman, a resident of Bullock, said that she set a goal of one day working at VGCC while she was a student at the college, earning associate degrees in Accounting and Business Administration. “The staff and faculty were always energetic and helpful, and I could tell they loved their jobs,” Luffman recalled.
She first went to work in the medical billing field for a neurologist, but two years after graduating from the community college, she was hired as a cashier at VGCC’s Main Campus. That was 14 years ago.
“I held the cashier position for a couple of years, and then I became a Lead Accounting Technician,” Luffman said. “Currently, I am the Accounts Receivable and Third Party Billing Coordinator. VGCC has helped me to grow professionally.” She has also served as chair of the VGCC Scholarship Committee, on various N.C. Community College System task forces, and as president of the Vance County Association of Educational Office Professionals.
Luffman added, “I love VGCC and I love working with the staff and faculty, but most importantly, I love helping our students.”